Teenage Leeds takeaway thief locked up

Court round-up
Court round-up

A teenager who was involved in terrifying robberies at a takeaway and a newsagents Leeds has been locked up for four years.

A judge at Bradford Crown Court heard how 19-year-old Thomas Poskitt and an accomplice went into the Spicy Delight premises on Ganners Hill wearing masks and gloves on Halloween night last year.

Prosecutor Caroline Wigin said the teenager’s accomplice was carrying a hammer when they raided the takeaway shortly before 10pm and the implement was swung towards one of the men working in the premises.

The robber with the hammer then grabbed the till from behind the counter and threw it onto the floor causing it to smash open.

Takings were stolen from the till, but Poskitt was linked to the robbery because his DNA was found on gloves later recovered by the police.

About three ŵeeks later Poskitt and 31-year-old Jason Senior carried out a mid-morning robbery at Turners newsagents on Branch Road, Lower Wortley.

During that raid Senior, of Raynville Cresent, Bramley, pushed shopkeeper Valerie Turner to the floor before the till was again broken into and cash stolen.

Miss Wigin read from a victim statement provided by Mrs Turner in which she described how the robbery had left her feeling anxious and vulnerable.

In January Senior was jailed for a total of eight years for his part in the newsagents robbery and other offences.

Poskitt, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to robbery charges in respect of both of the small businesses and he also admitted further charges relating to an attempted night-time burglary at a house and handling the stolen bank cards which had been taken from an 82-year-old woman during a handbag snatch.

Miss Wigin revealed that Poskitt had started offending as a juvenile and already had prebious convictions for attempted burglary and burglary on his record.

Judge Colin Burn said the two businesses were probably operating on small profits and added:”They could ill-afford to be robbed in this violent and frightening way because, of course, the people who work in these businesses are also the people who the businesses and if they are put in terror by a robbery it not only affects what’s in the till but it also affects their ability to run their business properly.”

The judge said it was hardly surprising that Mrs Turner was suffering anxiety and Poskitt had to bear an equal responsibility for the violence used by Senior during the robbery.